Tender for toothless

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Joined Sep 12, 2002
O.K. I'm not a pro, but have always had a passion for cooking, and am always curious about how and why...so thank you for this site.

My particular problem is this: My wife now has false teeth and has trouble chewing tough meats. Among many of her favorite dishes is Beef and Broccoli which we sometimes get from Chinese-American restaurants. These thin slices of beef usually are so tender that she has no problem eating them.

My question is what cuts of beef can I use to make this at home (I have tried sirloin) and what process to tenderize them. As for meat tenderizer (like adolfs) does it take effect in a marinade, or does it activate only when heated? If the latter, then the meat (in thin slices) becomes overcooked, and I'm also trying to avoid that gummy texture. ANY SUGGESTIONS?:confused:
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
7,067
524
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Cut a piece off and whack it thin with flat side of a cleaver. You can also use filet, but it's sort of a waste :)

Kuan
 
195
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Joined Dec 15, 1999
Chemical tendrizesers tend to mush the outside of cuts without even impressing the inside. What the chinese use for marinating is a combination of cornstarch and egg white. Yogurt is a good subtitue.
Also always use dry aged meat, cut it against the grain and whack it.
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
And if all else fails, bit the bullet and buy some filet. The tail of the filet, the section used in Stroganoff and cut up in a similar fashion, can often be had for less money than the end used for chateaubriand and filet mignon.

Also, you might take your cooking skills and imagination to make some wonderful braises and stews that are melt in your mouth delicious. Oxtail and shin are gelatinous cuts that with proper cooking become meltingly tender. Chuck and brisket while not as gelatinous can, braised slowly, also become quite tender.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
I have nothing to add to the excellent advice that others have given; I just want to say, It is beautiful how you want to take care of your wife. It's a lesson to us all. :D
 
1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
The way you cut the slices is important to the tenderness, also; thinner is better! Try partially freezing the meat to make it easier to slice, use a very sharp knife, then cut paper thin diagonal cuts across the grain. Then marinate these in cornstarch, egg white, and soy sauce.

Then, when you make your beef/broccoli, do the veg first, take it out of the skillet, add a little more oil, then add the beef, and if the skillet/wok is hot enough, it'll only take 30-45 seconds to cook, if the slices are thin enough. Then add the broccoli back in and the sauce, mix well to heat and serve right away.
 
5
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Joined Sep 12, 2002
Thank you all for your help! Two of you so far have suggested a marinade of cornstarch and eggwhite...but I have no idea of the proportions of each, the application, and the duration of marinade. Secondly WHY... is eggwhite and then cornstarch a tenderizer...how does this work? Sounds like I'm getting somewhere...thankyou!:lips:
 
1,046
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Joined Apr 19, 2001
Hi, FB - Here's my recipe for marinating and tenderizing meat, chicken or seafood for chinese/Korean recipes:


1 large egg white
1 tsp. salt
1T dry sherry
1T cornstarch

Blend egg white, salt, wine and cornstarch til thick and smooth, about 2 minutes; toss meat or fish to coat evenly and separate pieces; cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.

This is basic; you can add soy sauce, or a mixture of hoisin/soy, or a teriyaki sauce to this; add 1 tablespoon to the above mixture.

After it marinates, just stir-fry as usual.
 
1,310
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Joined Dec 4, 2001
Marmalady, do you need to add any liquid to the wok/skillet? It sounds like witrh that much cornstarch it would clump up unless it was diluted. My wife ususally adds some water or chicken stock to make a little sauce.
And FB, don't forget that your pan needs to be really hot. The meat should cook virtually on contact with the pan. This was alluded to in another post but I just wanted to emphasize it.

Jock
 
1,046
11
Joined Apr 19, 2001
I don't add water/liquid at the beginning, because I want to sear off the meat/seafood; just the little amount of oil in a well seasoned wok. Then, after the item is cooked, I add chicken stock and a little soy/ginger/garlic to make a sauce.
 
1,310
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Joined Dec 4, 2001
That's what I meant actually - adding liquid after the protien is cooked. I brought it up because I was concerned some inexperienced readers might try this and wonder why it didn't turn out right. :) :)

Jock
 
38
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Joined Sep 7, 2002
An alternative way to tenderize meat-
Try marinade your meat in "freshly squeezed" lemon juice,orange juice,pear juice...etc., together with seasonings for 2-3 hours,
and stir-fry with very hot oil in short time (egg white and starch can be omitted)...., note that oil must not be added in the fruit juice marinade, it will block absorptions.....you know what I mean!
Acids in the fruit juice will help tenderize your meat.
For instance, the clay pot oven roasted "Tandoori chicken",an Indian cuisine, lemon juice marinade were applied to tenderize the meat.
 
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Joined Oct 29, 2002
I was just watching a cooking show on channel eleven ---:bounce: when they were cooking a stir fry for beef and broccoli b/4 they added the meat to the dish they had used a sirloin cut i beleive and cut it across the grain pretty thin and before adding to the veggies they had oil hot and ready in a wok and they put the meat in a wok to cook fast and they mentioned that is how they make there meat more tender and then they add it to the dish with spices. It made sense to me they actually seared the meat sealing in the juices and cooked really fast so it didn't have time to get tough :chef:
 

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